Science

Fluoridation helps protect adult teeth as well as children’s - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott May 16, 2017

Recent research reveals that community water fluoridation benefits adults as well as children. While research into the effects of fluoridation in adults started earlier than for children, early studies suffered from a lack of information on effects of socioeconomic status and other confounding factors.  Recent studies with adults have been more robust but there is still some confusion – especially since … Read More

The importance of accurate science reporting - Guest Work

Jean Balchin May 14, 2017

“Science values detail, precision, the impersonal, the technical, the lasting, facts, numbers and being right. Journalism values brevity, approximation, the personal, the colloquial, the immediate, stories, words and being right now. There are going to be tensions.” – Quentin Cooper, of BBC Radio 4’s Material World. Open up Facebook or scroll through Twitter … Read More

Fluoridation: the truth about heavy metal contamination - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott May 12, 2017

Anti-fluoride activists going on about contaminants in drinking water due to fluoridation have it all wrong. If they avoided their knee-jerk, chemophobic reactions to certificates of analysis and did some calculations they would realise they are making a fuss about absolutely nothing. I am currently absorbed in dealing with family issues at the moment so am reposting this article, “Chemophobic … Read More

Cold ones and continuous fermentation brewing - A History of NZ Science in 25 Objects

Jean Balchin May 09, 2017

Welcome to the History of New Zealand Science in 25 Objects! From ingenious pā fortifications and Tā moko uhi (chisels) to disposable syringes and the Britten motorcycle, New Zealand’s scientific innovations are fascinating, varied and internationally appreciated. Explore the history of NZ science and technology with Jean Balchin as she examines 25 objects we Kiwis have made – starting with … Read More

Bottle fed infants: fluoridated water not a problem - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott May 04, 2017

New recommended fluoride dietary intakes by infants and young children in Australia and New Zealand were recently published. The updated values are available online at Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. This is a regular update – the Australian National Health and Medical research council advises these recommendations be reviewed every 5 years. But the new recommendations are interesting because … Read More

Getting scientific research papers without paying - Code for life

Grant Jacobs May 02, 2017

Or, as it’s informally known: getting past the paywall. Occasionally I write about stuff that might be useful to other researchers, but also lets non-researchers see a little of what bugs some of us researchers! All but a relatively few (biological) science research journals require you to subscribe before you can get the research … Read More

Citing scientific studies and the arrogance of ignorance - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Apr 27, 2017

One thing that gets me going (as readers here probably know) is the way scientific citations are cherry-picked and dragged in to support biased positions. It’s a common form of confirmation bias in the fluoridation debate. And I get even angrier when the perpetrators cherry-picking citations will then claim they “have science on their side.” Parroting citations and (often unconnected) claims … Read More

The lost map of South Westland - Infrequently Asked Questions

Lynley Hargreaves Apr 27, 2017

Fascinating science stories await those willing to delve into New Zealand’s archives. But few do, because of the vast amount of information to sift through, says Dr Simon Nathan, geologist and guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. The first of two issues focused on science history, this … Read More

Citizen scientists discover new type of aurora - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 25, 2017

By Nathan Case, Lancaster University A collaboration between aurora-hunting citizen scientists and a team of professional researchers has resulted in the discovery of a completely new type of aurora. The finding was made possible thanks to photos taken by aurora enthusiasts from across the globe which scientists could then compare with data from satellites. The aurora, more … Read More